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- Posted on Feb 17th 2010 4:30PM by Pat Pemberton
If you don't recognize the song from this commercial, featuring American Olympic skater Apolo Anton Ohno, you're not necessarily unhip. After all, the band that recorded 'Intro' just released its debut album this past summer. Still, this might be a good time to get familiar with the xx, a British trio of 20-year-olds that's off to an Ohno-like start.
In what might seem like an odd pairing, the AT&T commercial couples the atmospheric instrumental with a sport that thrives on speed. But the director did match the tune's nighttime mood -- more on that in a bit -- with a dark, grayish set that finds a solitary Ohno in his element. The rotating rink, meanwhile, replicates the motion of a spinning CD (or a vinyl record, if you're into the whole retro thing.)
The xx's Jamie Smith tells Spinner, "Since we have been pretty busy touring, we haven't made it to the rink lately, but it's awesome to hear our music being played while Apolo is doing his thing." While Ohno doesn't appear to have a lot in common with the xx band members, he does share one trait: When he first appeared at the Olympics in 2002, he was roughly the same age as the xx are now.
Appropriately, the two-minute 'Intro' kicks off the band's debut album, 'xx,' serving as an introduction to the group. While that might suggest the xx is an instrumental band, the trio actually relies heavily on vocals.
Originally launched as a foursome, the members of the xx met while in high school. Influenced by '90s R&B (Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey) and alt-rock (the Cure), the group of minimalists rely much on the sexual tension between singers Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim (no, they are not an item). Their songs, all written and recorded at night, create a lonely, after-hours mood with hushed, sometimes listless vocals.
Even though the band is still young and new, they've already lost a member to rigorous touring, and there are no plans to hold off on the travels. The band is currently in the midst of an international tour, which will include a performance at Bonnaroo this summer.
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